What are Weingarten Rights?
Workers have the legal right to have a union representative present during an investigatory interview. These rights derive from a Supreme Court decision (NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc.) that clarified the National Labor Rights Act (NRLA).
Employers have no obligation to inform workers of their right to request union representation. If a worker wants to have union representation during an interview, the worker must affirmatively request that a union representative be present.
Use the following language to assert your Weingarten rights:
If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative, officer or steward be present at the meeting. Without representation, I choose not to answer questions.
Why are Weingarten Rights Important?
- For protection from unfair discipline
- For fair and equal treatment
- To have a witness present
What is an investigatory interview?
A union-represented employee is entitled to a union representative during an investigatory interview.
An investigatory interview is one in which management questions an employee about actions that may lead to discipline or an employee reasonably believes that such questions could lead to discipline.
When a manager gives instruction or general information to an employee, this is not an investigatory interview and therefore the employee does not have a right to union representation under Weingarten. Similarly, if a manager is merely informing an employee about a discipline decision that has already been made, the employee does not have a right to union representation under Weingarten but may have a right to union representation under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Please keep in mind that if a meeting between an employee and a manager starts out as a routine discussion, but then becomes an investigatory interview in which an employee reasonably believes that such questions could lead to discipline, the employee then becomes entitled to union representation.
How do Weingarten Rights work?
Under the Supreme Court's Weingarten decision, when an investigatory interview occurs, the following rules apply:
1. The employee must make a clear request for union representation before or during the interview. The employee cannot be punished for making this request.
2. After the employee makes the request, the employer must choose from among three options. The employer must either:
a. Grant the request and delay questioning until the union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with the employee; or
b. Deny the request and end the interview immediately; or
c. Give the employee a choice of having the interview without representation or ending the interview.
If the employer denies the request for union representation, and continues to ask questions, it commits an unfair labor practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer. The employer may not discipline the employee for such a refusal.
NOLSW is a National Amalgamated Local Union of United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW. Click on the link above to see and/or download a copy of the CONSTITUTION of the INTERNATIONAL UNION as amended at the As amended at the 38th UAW Constitutional Convention, Detroit, Michigan, July 2022.
The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) — also known as the Landrum-Griffin Act — deals with the relationship between a union and its members. The LMRDA grants certain rights to union members and protects their interests by promoting democratic procedures within labor organizations. The Act establishes a Bill of Rights for union members; reporting requirements for labor organizations, union officers and employees, employers, labor-relations consultants, and surety companies; standards for the regular election of union officers; and safeguards for protecting labor organization funds and assets. Click on the link above for more information about the LMRDA.
Union Security Notification
The UAW, like other unions, spends the vast majority of its funds on collective-bargaining- related activity, as well as some amounts for political lobbying, community services, citizenship fund activities, international affairs, organizing, charitable donations, publications advancing the union’s political positions, certain litigation and other matters. Under the Supreme Court decision in CWA v. Beck, nonunion members who pay money to the union under union security agreements may file objections to nonrepresentational-related expenditures of the money they pay under such agreements. Click on the link above for more information.
Page Last Updated: Nov 19, 2023 (16:57:23)